Interview with Byron Kerr, Head of Amazon at Tuft & Needle

THE “AMAZON FOR CMOS” SERIES

 

DESCRIPTION

It’s time for another installment of our Amazon For CMOs Podcast Series and today we're talking to Byron Kerr, a trailblazer in the functional, executive-level role of Director of Marketplaces, or Head of Amazon, within his company.

Byron Kerr leads the strategic execution on the Amazon sales channel, at the mattress company, Tuft & Needle. This currently includes both the vendor and the seller sales channel, managing the Amazon annual marketing budget, and liaising with all the other functional areas that touch Amazon, within the company. Byron has been in the Amazon space for quite some time now, and he's also been consulting with brands around the Amazon channels for several years. 

Byron is the first person in the role of Head of Amazon at Tuft & Needle. In today's episode, he talks about how this role came about at Tuft & Needle, and why the company decided that they needed to have a dedicated resource to oversee this channel and to lead the initiatives within it. The point of today's conversation is to discuss various approaches to Amazon and the decisions that need to be made around that. Byron is really a wealth of information, so tune in today to hear about his thought processes around these aspects.

When I look at the landscape of consultants, software, and agencies, I think there’s no one right approach to how to manage your business. I think a hybrid approach has been what’s most successful for me.
— Byron Kerr

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Byron explains why the role of Head of Amazon exists at Tuft & Needle.

  • Why there's currently a broader movement towards having marketplace, or Amazon, specialist leaders within branded manufacturers.

  • Byron's thoughts on how branded manufacturers are figuring on how to resource their Amazon departments.

  • A hybrid approach to managing his business has been the most successful approach for Byron.

  • Byron shares one vertical that allows brands to scale.

  • Leveraging experts within the CPG space, or whichever space brands work in, will allow you to gain insights that you may not gain in your day-to-day knowledge.

  • Putting your best foot forward on the Amazon platform to make the best decision for your business.

  • Tuft & Needle has really benefited from selling on Amazon. And as the business scales, they can build in processes that allow them to continue winning.

  • Why Tuft & Needle did not choose to embrace the Amazon platform any earlier than they did. 

  • Where Byron thinks that the function of Amazon's strategy and execution should happen, within other organizations who don't have a Head of Amazon or a Head of Marketplaces.

  • The challenges of managing channel conflicts on Amazon.

  • How Byron makes his decisions around where to best spend his time, his budget, and his resources on the Amazon channel.

  • Over the last year or two, Amazon has unlocked a lot of tools for brands, especially on the marketing side.

  • Amazon definitely rewards you for spending.

  • Byron talks about some of the private label programs that Amazon is running.


MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

  • Reach out to Byron on LinkedIn

  • Tuft & Needle

  • For the first few days after the launch of “Amazon For CMOs”, on September 24th, the Kindle version of the book will be available for free!

    So sign up to get your copy. Go to www.amazonforcmos.com to sign up for our email list and to be notified of the launch.